Monday, November 5, 2007

Cover story: In the Nick of time

Cover story: In the Nick of time

Tuesday, November 06 2007
Nick Lachey gives up the good life and goes solo. Nick Lachey has fulfilled every man’s fantasy: he’s been a member of a world famous boy band, with millions of screaming female fans in every corner of the world. He also managed to bag himself hot blonde sex-bomb Amazonian mega-babe Jessica Simpson.

Not bad for someone who’s just hit 32 years old. And the strangest thing about the whole experience is not that it actually happened – but that Lachey actually walked away from it all.

Lachey shot to fame back in 98º back in 1997, when their debut self titled album hit the big time, and subsequent tracks like Invisible Man, Was It Something I Didn’t Say, I Do (Cherish You), The Hardest Thing shot the four boys (Lachey, Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons) straight up the charts.

Fast forward almost a decade later, and the 98º boys went their separate ways to concentrate on solo endeavours.

After his much-publicised break up with Simpson (ironically, just after they ended their long running reality show The Newlyweds), Lachey took time out to recuperate and return to real life. His success with 98º led him to release two solo albums, the fi rst of which (Soulo) was overshadowed by the hype of The Newlyweds and didn’t fare too well.

But his latest effort, What’s Left Of Me, on the other hand, has launched Lachey back into the solo spotlight. The album debuted at the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Album charts, and the fi rst single, What’s Left Of Me, shot straight to the No. 1 spot on

There has been speculation that the album is a reflection of his recent divorce and his still strong feelings towards Simpson. But Lachey realises that wearing your heart on your sleeve is a cathartic way of dealing with the break up.

Plus, there’s nothing like a little emotional turmoil to inspire a complete 12-track album. Lachey just kicked off a worldwide promotion tour for What’s Left Of Me, where he will cover the US, Europe and Asia.

Buzz managed to pin Lachey down in Tokyo and got him to spill the beans on life after reality TV, Simpson's buffalo wings fiasco and a possible 98º reunion: How’s japan treating you? Japan’s lovely. I love coming here. Everyone’s so polite and welcoming; I always get treated so nicely.

What’s the response been like in Japan to What’s Left Of Me? When you don’t travel, you have no idea of people’s reaction to your music, so I didn’t know that it went over so well here. We visited Asia a lot during 98º time, and spent a lot of time in this part of the world, so we’ve always known Asian fans are really great to us.

Based on your experiences on the show, how real was reality tv? I wouldn’t really say it was completely real.

I’d describe the show as being a series of snapshots of reality – which, you have to remember, was edited all for your entertainment pleasure! The world needs to know – did she really think buffalo had wings? Ha, ha! i’d rather not say! i can’t! you’re going to have to ask her that! You’ve got your first big solo tour coming up, how excited are you? I love performing, and it’s been fi ve years since I’ve last performed on stage – so I’m really excited about the tour. It’s going to be entertaining, energetic, it’s going to be great, I can’t wait to get started.

How different is what’s left of me to soulo? It’s very different. My life has changed so much since Soulo, as has my music writing style and my preferences. Also, the things that inspired me while I was writing both albums are so different – so naturally, the two solo albums will also sound different.

The album title and second single i can’t hate you anymore are quite telling. is it difficult to wear your heart on your sleeve like that? No matter what’s happening around me, I just tried to make this the best album I could. And I’ve always said that you have to be honest in your music. To a certain extent, the album was inspired by my life, but at the same time, I tell my listeners to not take things too literally. But, it’s been great to use this album as an emotional release.

The Newlyweds lasted about three years – is it difficult to go back to real life as opposed to reality TV? It’s been a relief to get out of reality TV and get back to real life! Everything is so different on reality TV; it’s a different perspective on the world around you, and on those You’re hitting about 25 cities in about a month. how are you going to manage that? By travelling a lot! Seriously though, we’re even thinking of expanding the amount of places we’re hitting, so it’s going to be quite a gruelling schedule. During tours like this, I just try to take care of myself. Before shows, I take time out to warm up, like an athlete before a game. I have to remember that if I blow out my voice, there’s no more tour, so it’s important to remember to take it easy too.

Do you forsee a 98º reunion? I do, yes. We’re not sure when, but we have talked about doing it for some time now, and it will be happening at some point. We’ve all had a lot of time off, so I think it’s time to get back to where we all were together.

Life after divorce – do your priorities need adjusting after something like that? Your entire life becomes an adjustment.

I’m lucky I had my music career that I could throw myself into, and focus on that. So that’s driven me a little, it makes it easier to adjust to the change.